Admissibility of evidence

Admissibility means whether or not, from a legal perspective, a piece of evidence can be taken into consideration in deciding the case. One of the principal considerations is whether or not it would be fair to the other party.

The outcome of a previous investigation, panel or another decision-maker

As the panel is tasked with making a determination on the facts, impairment and sanction, they must hear evidence and arrive at their own conclusions.

One of the most common issues is the inclusion of the outcome of any local investigation, for example the findings of a disciplinary procedure, where a registrant is dismissed from their job. Evidence that was collected as part of the investigation is generally admissible and will form part of the regulator’s case. However the findings of the investigator are not admissible. Sometimes the investigator might be called as a witness to give evidence because not only did they carry out the investigation, they also happen to be a senior manager who knows about the policies and procedures of the registrant’s workplace. If the witness is talking generally about what is expected of staff, this would be admissible. If their evidence includes comments on why they decided the registrant had breached a policy then this is not admissible.